Just Think If you want to keep your meetings interesting, avoid the three "no's": no agenda, no objectives, and no time limit.

Source: The Open-Book Experience: Lessons From Over 100 Companies Who Successfully Transformed Themselves, by John Case (1999, Pegasus Books)

Need a Read? In Streetwise Motivating & Rewarding Employees, by Alexander Hiam (1999, Adams Media), the author makes a case for measuring motivation just like companies measure revenue, saying, "We are failing to track an absolutely vital measurement." Interesting: He includes a JML (job motivation level) test that's taken by both managers and anonymously by employees to gauge how motivated the staff is overall. Hiam, a trainer and consultant for Fortune 1000 clients, believes that companies do not bring out the best in their people. His other premise is that most employees intrinsically want to do the best job they can. The book is packed with case studies of companies, ranging from Mazda to Pillsbury, and many tips on rewards and team recognition events.

New Sensation Hotelier Ian Schrager envisioned the new 204-room St. Martins Lane in London as an "anti-brand." Rather than on how the hotel looks, the focus is on how it makes visitors feel. Take the guest rooms, which allow people to "light the mood" of their rooms with a spectrum of colors controlled by a dial next to their headboards. Or the lighted onyx desktops and lucite chairs in the rooms, which were designed by Philippe Starck (New York's Royalton and Paramount and Miami's Delano). Schrager is targeting a smart and sophisticated world traveler, someone, as he says, "who defines luxury not so much in terms of material things, but in access to new experiences, of making a connection with something special, of being in the know." There are plans for a conference facility to accommodate 750 people.

Book Mark www.thewritingworks.com "Some sales meetings are about as exciting as a urology journal," says The Writing Works (www.thewritingworks.com) author John Mackenzie. So he developed this "concept bank" of ideas for meeting themes and scripts for sales meetings and product launches. The site is a great resource when you are seeking a fresh approach. Many of the site's services are samples of what you can order (101 meeting themes for $25), but a free newsletter of strategic meeting tips (to be distributed beginning in January) makes it worth a visit.

Consider This "Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him."